The Westosha Central High School girls volleyball team defeated seventh-seeded Fort Atkinson Oct. 20 to capture a WIAA Division 1 regional title. (top row, from left) Assistant coach Becky Muff, manager Olivia Hinze, Ella Kaebisch, Laura Shoopman, Lexi Rothwell-Krebs, Olivia Webers, Sage Carlson, Shelby Serritella, manager Sydnie Holmes, coach Megan Awe. (bottom) Kennedy Muff, Ava White, Sierra Lee, Twila Dovas, McKenna Hall, Abigail Conrad (Jason Arndt/The Report).

Falcons sweep away visiting Fort Atkinson

By Jason Arndt

Aside from three deadlocks in the contest, the Westosha Central High School girls volleyball team coasted to a sweep of visiting Fort Atkinson Oct. 20, courtesy of an aggressive offense and high-pressure from the service line.

The second seeded Falcons, who defeated county rival Wilmot in the first round of the WIAA Division 1 regional two nights earlier, claimed the regional title with the three-game victory against No. 7 Fort Atkinson, 25-18, 25-17, 25-21.

Blackhawks coach Liz Colver acknowledged her team had several weapons to contend with.

“Westosha brings a lot of different tempos, obviously, they have their big swing off to the right side and then they have other hitters that are smart with placement and a great setter who can locate the ball,” said Colver.

Westosha Central (34-10) used its power and fast tempo to get the Blackhawks out of system.

“We knew that Fort likes to run a slower tempo, so we put a lot of power into everything that we did tonight,” said Falcons coach Megan Awe.

Senior Laura Shoopman contributed some of the power, accounting for a game-high 14 kills along with 11 digs, an ace and block.

After the Blackhawks put the first set at an 8-8 stalemate, the second of three, the Falcons brought in extra pressure and ended the set with a 5-1 run capped off by a senior Sierra Lee spike.

Lee finished with 10 kills, six digs and an assist.

In the second set, senior Ella Kaebisch, who accounted for seven kills, five and a block, contributed three of the Falcons last five points to help them secure a 25-17 win.

The Blackhawks attempted to avoid a sweep in the third set, pulling the contest within one at 22-21.

Westosha Central, however, produced three straight points with spikes by Kaebisch and Shoopman, who delivered the final blow with a block to close out the contest at 25-21.

Westosha Central coach Megan Awe credits efficient ball control for Shoopman’s performance.

“We had some great passes to Laura and she put them down, which is awesome, I think we need to have that in games like this,” said Awe.

Senior setter Kennedy Muff, who had seven kills and seven digs, accumulated a game-high 34 assists.

The Falcons also received contributions from senior libero Twila Dovas (11 digs) along with juniors McKenna Hall (five kills, four digs), Olivia Webers (ace, five digs) and Lexi Rothwell-Krebs (kill, block).

For Fort Atkinson, which concluded its season at 15-13, senior setter Grace Mans led the Blackhawks with nine kills and 15 assists.

Senior Lexi Garant, a defensive specialist, had 11 digs.

The Falcons advance to Thursday’s sectional semifinal at sixth-seeded Oregon.

Oregon, which swept No. 3 Union Grove, boasts a 28-9 record.

Falcons end Panthers season
In the opening round of regionals, propelled by successful serving runs, the Falcons swept visiting Wilmot, 25-11, 25-14, 25-13.

“The big thing for us was the focus at the service line, keeping our momentum going, and not giving up easy point and keeping balls in play,” Awe said.

In the first set, with the Falcons ahead 15-10 following a Kaebisch kill, the Panthers responded with a Brookelyn Corona spike.

Westosha Central, however, then produced a 10-0 run to win 25-11.

The Panthers fared better in the second set, but Westosha Central continued to exploit their defensive weaknesses, according Wilmot coach Josh Price.

“We definitely had to make an adjustment, they were tipping and rolling against us, so we just needed a little defensive adjustment in going with the setter in the front row instead of the back row to give us an advantage with having a third defender in the back row,” he said.

Initially, the Panthers plan worked in the third set, courtesy of back-to-back junior Karina Leber kills set up by freshman Ally Biel.

The short 2-0 lead was short-lived as the Falcons took control the rest of the contest.

Contributing for Westosha Central were Kaebisch (four aces, five kills, two blocks), Shoopman (ace, nine kills, two blocks, three digs), Muff (ace, 24 assists, four kills, three digs), Lee (ace, four kills, two assists, eight digs) and Hall (four aces, five kills, two blocks, three digs).

“Olivia Webers did a great job giving us energy off the bench,” Awe said. “Twila Dovas had a great night defensively and McKenna Hall had a very solid night.”

Dovas dove in for seven digs while Weber pitched in an ace, kill and two digs.

Rothwell-Krebs had a kill and block.

Wilmot, a No. 15 seed, ended its season 8-27.


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